Our News, Your News

Newsletter Issue Seventeen: Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

By Jack Hargreaves, April 1, '24

And we're back!

I know you're all thinking it, 浪子回头金不换, the prodigal newsletter has returned and there's nothing sweeter. Well I hope that we can deliver with this, the first instalment in a year and a half.

Be warned though, we're not quite back to our regularly scheduled program, since the perversion of the blue bird site and its lovely literary community has meant that news and stories have become harder to come by. Still, we've managed to cobble together a fair amount for you to get excited about and will also be trialing a little something that's new.

But first, the annual, start-of-the-year reminder to any aspiring or experienced Chinese-English translators that registration for both Bristol Translates & BCLT Summer School is currently open. Both are online this time around, and while there is some time before the application window for Bristol closes, you only have until Sunday 14 April to apply for Multilingual Prose, Multilingual Poetry, Multilingual Theatre or Training the Trainer at BCLT, if Chinese is your language of choice. Please do spread the word. And if you yourself are interested, then I highly recommend signing up for either for how valuable an opportunity this is to start building your translation network and toolbox.

Now, onto the news:

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Call for Submissions: Read Paper Republic: Home

By Eric Abrahamsen, December 22, '23

A refuge, a recollection, a promised land, a prison; the arms of family, or four concrete walls in the sky... Home means something different to each of us, but it means something to all of us. For our next Read Paper Republic series, we're looking for stories of home: of the quest to find one; the struggle to escape one; the battle to defend one. Fiction, non-fiction or poetry: it's all welcome.

If you are a Chinese>English translator and know of a home-related short story, essay or poems which you really like, we want to hear from you! This publication aims to support emerging translators (translators who haven't published more than one book) and we particularly welcome entries from those new to the profession.


2023 Roll-Call of Chinese Literature in English Translation

By Eric Abrahamsen, December 15, '23

Here it is, the 2023 Roll Call of Chinese literature published in English translation!

First the good news: this is an interesting and varied collection of titles, including classics, left-fielders, big names, and small(er) names. The non-fiction in particular is a wonderful spread of current events, political topics, and essays.

The slightly less wonderful news is that there's simply less of it! After several years of steadily-increasing numbers, the shelf shrank a bit this year. Of course it's impossible to know precisely why, but we will note that so much direct cultural contact between China and English-speaking countries has dried up since the pandemic: book fairs canceled, funding dried up, plane tickets expensive.

There also continues to be a marked gender imbalance: only two female poets in the poetry section; in fiction only 6 women to 16 men.

Regardless, these are great offerings. Special shout-outs to Owlish, which seems to be attracting the genuine love and enthusiasm that we all wish for our books; Jeremy Tiang, who is showing up on so many literary prize lists; and the Sinoist publishing house, which accounts for more than a quarter of the books on the fiction list.

And you're still in time for Christmas shopping!


2022 Roll Call of Published Translations from Chinese into English

By Nicky Harman, December 18, '22

Welcome to the 2022 list of literary works translated from Chinese into English. There is the usual eclectic mix listed below – from scifi to crime, to all other types of good and readable fiction. We have included poetry too, and children’s and young adult fiction. If anyone has any entries to add, please let us know at info@paper-republic.org and we’ll add them. Similarly with star reviews and other newsy items. Enjoy browsing!

Let us also take the chance to remind you that Paper Republic is a UK-registered charity (non-profit). We are run by volunteers and depend on your donations. Everything you give us goes towards our mission, to promote Chinese literature in translation. Please consider donating here: Paper Republic donations link See also the Benevity.org charitable portal. If your employer gives matching funds for donations, Benevity is a great chance to amplify your generosity.


The Open University (UK) Online Book Club - second session, 18 November 2022

By Nicky Harman, October 15, '22

The first session of the book club, held last week, was a great success. 70 + participants from all over the world discussed Yan Ge's short story Sissy Zhong, translated by Nicky Harman, with great enthusiasm. Book here for the second session on 18 November. We will be discussing an essay from Sanmao's Tales of the Sahara, and are delighted that the translator, Mike Fu, will join us from Tokyo. Registration is free.

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Newsletter Issue Sixteen: Double the Luck

By Jack Hargreaves, October 10, '22

Hello, hello, a happy autumn to one and all! (It's my favourite season, can you tell?)

It's been a while since the last instalment of this here newsletter came out, and a lot has happened between those heady dog days of August and now, some of which you might have missed. So wherever there are recordings of events I've included them below. And of course, if there's something that has happened in the world of Chinese lit over the past few months that isn't below, please do send in the article or link and I'll pop it in the list [website only].

The reason for this is, though you might have been waiting eagerly chewing at the bit for this issue to come out, it is nevertheless going to be the last one for a short while. Probably until early next year, in fact. We enjoy running the newsletter and putting it together, and there has been some lovely feedback about it as a resource, for which we thank you, but we need to rethink how to make it more readily sustainable and maintainable for those of us behind the scenes. In the meantime, a period of rest is in order (instead of a period of procrastination, which is what the last three months have been). We hope you'll stick around and stay subscribed for when the new issue drops into your inboxes come January or February, and if it happens that any of you have any interest in being part of running a newsletter for Chinese literature in translation on a voluntary basis, then be sure to get in touch. The same goes for if you have or know of any news that you think would fit the newsletter, now or anytime in the future; you can always email news AT paper-republic DOT org with anything Chinese-lit-related that you think worth sharing. If it's urgent, and waiting until the next issue would mean missing out, we'll post it straight onto the website and socials (Facebook, WeChat and Twitter for the time being).

Anyway, this issue is review- and release-heavy. So go wonder at all the shiny new books you can spend your hard-earned cash on just in time for Christmas. Oh, and any aspiring or emerging (budding, fledgling, nascent) translators out there with a short piece of fiction or non-fiction about food which you think needs translating or you have lying about in a drawer ready-translated, keep those hungry eyes peeled for a call for submissions in the not-so-distant future.

Happy holidays y'all. Here's to a smashing end of the year (we can dream, eh!).

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Newsletter Issue Fourteen: the Festiv(al) Season

By Jack Hargreaves, June 11, '22

Folks, not to brag, but I've all but stopped using social media for a month now (by circumstance rather than by choice) and it's been a lovely holiday for the mind. It also means, in case you're wondering why my boasting is relevant, this month's newsletter is a short one. That's right, like many millennials, I source most of my news from the socials, and that includes Chinese-lit related news.

Here's to a more jampacked newsletter next month, when I inevitably fall back into old habits.

In the meantime, direct your attention toward the upcoming Aberdeen Festival of Translation. By upcoming, I mean it starts on Monday 13th June with a workshop led by Nicky Harman. But there is plenty more to come.

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Xiaolu Guo and James Tookey in conversation

By Eric Abrahamsen, June 7, '22

Check out this brilliant conversation between renowned Chinese writer and UK-based novelist, Xiaolu Guo 郭小櫓 and publisher James Tookey of Peirene Press, led by our Emily Jones and held to mark the launch of The Paper Republic Guide to Contemporary Chinese Literature. The Guide begins with an in-depth introduction by Xiaolu, followed by biogs of almost 100 of the most important writers working in the Chinese language today, and essays ranging from the role of the author to science fiction to popular Chinese internet literature.